South Korea’s Samsung has reported a record quarterly operating profit — the equivalent of 3.5 billion euros.
The world’s leading maker of memory chips and smartphones credited one-off gains and its best-ever sales of high-end handsets.
As well as overtaking Apple as the world’s top smartphone maker, Samsung also supplies rivals with components for their tablet computers and smartphones.
Samsung only entered the smartphone market in earnest in 2010, but its handset division is now its biggest earnings generator.
Sales have skyrocketed thanks to a slick production system that rapidly brings new products to market and has mitigated weakness in its component business of mainly memory chips and flat screens.
At the same time, Taiwan’s HTC, which shocked the market with revenue warnings in recent months, reported a worse-than-expected quarterly profit drop, its first retreat in two years, as models from the world’s fourth biggest smartphone maker scrambled to compete with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy range.